The new country guidance in the UK on the risk on return for followers of the Sikh and Hindu religions in Afghanistan

TG and others (Afghan Sikhs persecuted) (CG) [2015] UKUT 595 (IAC) (3 November 2015)

This case is identified as a country guidance on the risk on return for followers of the Sikh and Hindu religions in Afghanistan where the essential questions are whether the current situation in Kabul is such that they would be at risk of persecution if removed per se according to Article 9 of Directive 2004/83/EC and the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (the Refugee Convention) and whether the rights stated in Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) would be violated if removed. Some members of the Sikh and Hindu communities continue to suffer harassment at the hands of Muslim zealots but not all of them are at risk in Afghanistan. Whether any form of discrimination amount to persecution such as to entitle an individual to a grant of international protection is fact sensitive, and will depend upon the individual’s particular characteristics, wealth and background.

All the relevant circumstances must be considered but careful attention should be paid to the following: women are particularly vulnerable in the absence of appropriate protection from a male member of the family; financial circumstances and ability to access basic accommodation; the level of religious devotion and the practical accessibility to a suitable place of religious worship; access to appropriate education for children in light of discrimination against Sikh and Hindu children. The Tribunal did not find that the first, second and third appellants were at real risk of persecution or discrimination amounting to persecution upon return under the Refugee Convention but allowed the appeal under Article 8 of the ECHR. The appeal of the fourth appellant was allowed under the Refugee Convention as well as under the ECHR.

The full text is available on EuroCases

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